NCAA West Regional/WWC Awarded 19 Auto-Qualifier Spots for the NCAA Championships

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.–The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and the NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference has been awarded 19 spots. The 19 automatic qualifier spots will be on the line at next week’s NCAA West Regional/WWC Championships to be held at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse in Fargo, N.D., on Saturday, March 7.

Competition at the NCAA West Regional/WWC Championships is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. March 7, with the finals/third-place matches followed by true second-place bouts (as needed) starting at 4 p.m.

NDSU BisonThe NCAA also released the final coaches’ panel rankings as well as the rating percentage index (RPI) for the 2014-15 wrestling season and 23 wrestlers from the WWC made the cut. Of the 23 wrestlers ranked from the WWC, Wyoming led the way with eight of its grapplers listed, while NDSU had six and Northern Colorado added three.

The breakdown of the 19 automatic bids per weight class for the WWC Championships/NCAA West Regional, are as follows: 125 (5), 133 (1), 141 (1), 149 (1), 157 (1), 165 (2), 174 (2), 184 (2), 197 (2) and 285 (2).

The 19 automatic bids for the WWC are up four spots from last season when the conference received 15 automatic qualifying spots. The league later received four additional at-large selections a year ago to send a total 19 wrestlers to the 2014 NCAA Championships.

The Western Wrestling Conference, which is in its ninth year of competition, is comprised of six schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming.

The three-day NCAA Championships will then take place March 19-21 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage at the weight class, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches ranking.

For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament, with automatic qualifying status, was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 70 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 11. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition, qualifying event placement, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, RPI, coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.

Qualifier Allocations For 2015 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships

The following is the list of WWC wrestlers that were named to the final coaches’ panel rankings, as well as the RPI.

Weight Class – Wrestler (Institution) RPI/Coaches’ Panel
125 – Tyler Cox (Wyoming) 11th/11th
125 – Chasen Tolbert (Utah Valley) 12th/17th
125 – Josh Rodriguez (North Dakota St.) 14th/16th
125 – Josh Martinez (Air Force) 18th/15th
125 – Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado) 25th/24th
133 – Jade Rauser (Utah Valley) 21st/25th
141 – Mitchell Bengtson (North Dakota St.) 33rd/29th
149 – Clayton Ream (North Dakota St.) 24th/NR
149 – Jake Elliott (Wyoming) 30th/33rd
157 – Cody Pack (South Dakota St.) 10th/6th
157 – Archie Colgan (Wyoming) 28th/NR
165 – Jesse Stafford (Air Force) 16th/16th
165 – Dakota Friesth (Wyoming) 29th/22nd
165 – Mitchell Polkowske (Northern Colorado) NR/25th
174 – Andy McCulley (Wyoming) 12th/14th
174 – Kurtis Julson (North Dakota St.) 21st/26th
184 – Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota St.) 9th/8th
184 – Ben Stroh (Wyoming) 17th/18th
197 – Shane Woods (Wyoming) 12th/14th
197 – Trent Noon (Northern Colorado) 25th/NR
197 – Nathan Rotert (South Dakota St.) 29th/27th
285 – Tanner Harms (Wyoming) 15th/22nd
285 – Evan Knutson (North Dakota St.) 18th/13th

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